Ebonyi Goes Tough On Herdsmen, To Establish Court For Grazing, Rape Cases

The Ebonyi State government has directed the state chief judge to establish a special court to try matters arising from herders and farmers’ clashes as well as rape cases across the state. It also banned underage pastoralists from operating in the state, warning that they would henceforth be arrested while their bosses or guardians prosecuted.
These were among the resolutions arrived at after the state security meeting held in Abakaliki, which was chaired by Gov David Umahi.
Presenting the communiqué, the state deputy governor, Dr Kelechi Igwe, said the measures became necessary to stem the tide of increasing cases of herders, farmers’ clashes, as well as rape cases in the state. The leadership of the Myetti Allah in the state, according to the deputy governor, was also directed to liaise with local government chairmen to provide identities for all cattle rearers in the state. He also said community leaders were mandated to produce killers/attackers of herdsmen in their domains within seven days for prosecution.
Television Nigerian reports that the meeting had in attendance leaders and members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, heads of various security agencies in the state and local government chairmen, among others.
According to the communiqué read by the state deputy governor, “The various communities are by this meeting empowered to arrest and hand over to the police any underage herder within your community and the chief herder who is the custodian of such underage persons must be prosecuted by the police, in accordance with our law.
“Henceforth, members of Miyetti Allah and their leadership must take responsibility for any destruction of farms, crops, property, including any attack on any community in Ebonyi State; rape cases are not exempted from this. They must produce within seven days for arrest and prosecution the perpetrators of such dastardly acts from amongst their membership.”
It also warned that, “Community leaders and traditional rulers, development centre coordinators, local government council chairmen, and political office-holders must take responsibility and produce attackers and killers of herdsmen or the cows for arrest and prosecution within seven days whenever such occurs.”
Our correspondent reports that the communiqué also made it compulsory for herders to reside in communities where they graze their cattle, adding that, “All persons carrying cows by foot on the tarred road, on our concrete roads must be arrested and handed over to the police within seven days of prosecution by the community within which such infractions come.”

 131 total views,  8 views today